Report: LFP mulls over taking Ligue 1 clubs on US summer tour

Report: LFP mulls over taking Ligue 1 clubs on US summer tour
Move would see French teams play exhibition games to promote their brand in North America.

The Professional Football League (LFP), the organising body for the top divisions of French club soccer, is discussing plans to take Ligue 1’s top teams on a summer tour of the US, according to L'Équipe.

The trip would feature the top-tier French clubs who qualify for European competitions playing friendly matches against each other and participating in initiatives to promote their brand in the US market.

Commenting on the proposed tour, LFP Chief Executive Didier Quillot said: “Our project is to organise a mini-tour in the United States in the summer of 2019 with some French clubs.

“We are discussing with these clubs, some of them have already confirmed their interest.”

If the tour went ahead, it would likely involve league-leaders PSG, whose star-studded squad travelled to Asia for their pre-season tour in 2018. The reigning Ligue 1 champions last went to the US in 2017 for the International Champions Cup when they played games against Roma, Tottenham Hotspur and Juventus.

The US has long been a target market for European soccer clubs, with many playing pre-season friendly games in the region to build their fanbase and scout out potential commercial opportunities.

Spanish soccer’s LaLiga made the most aggressive play to date when it announced controversial plans in August to stage annual matches in the US as part of a 15-year deal with Relevent Sports. However, the plan has been temporarily shelved after Barcelona opted out of the first game of the initiative due to a lack of consensus between LaLiga, the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) and FIFA.

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